Keys to Excellent Customer Service For Advisors
Financial advisors build their businesses around relationships, but those relationships go far beyond your occasional face-to-face interactions. Your clients’ view of their relationship extends to many other touch points with your business, including your staff, technology, and digital communications.
Keeping these relationships strong is the lifeblood of your business – an operation best not left to chance and good intentions. Today, we’re exploring best practices and operations that you can use to strengthen your client retention.
Avoiding Disconnected Client Relationships
Clients don’t always express their discontentment before they start to feel dissatisfied with your service. That’s why one study suggests that only 19% of clients feel that customer service exceeds their expectations. Understanding this relational momentum is the key to delivering excellence from day 1 and improving it with each day.
This isn’t just an obligation or a necessary inconvenience to running a business. Great financial advisors transform this thinking though, knowing one act has the power to convert a new customer into a loyal one.
As most advisors know, great client concierge service starts with your team. It’s not just who you hire, but how you support and inspire them as well. If your team feels valued and necessary to the firm’s success, that will translate with your clients.
Ensure your team has the tools and parameters to offer solutions. Your team should know you have their back when they explore conflict resolution. Set a guideline for issue resolution. Include time frames for follow-ups. Make responses to FAQs accessible. Ensure issues in progress can be shared among your team so anyone can step in and help.
When they voice that they need additional support or resources, make an active effort to connect them with the support they need.
Your RIA Environment Enables Your Team
Before we jump into specific ways you can give your team a clearer vision of excellent customer service, it’s important to note that the support your team needs is not just internal. Their connection to your RIA is the foundation for bringing out the best in their potential.
WealthPlan Group has built a reputation of having an innovative and practical environment to support its advisors. If you’d like to learn more about leveraging resources like our investment management platform, integrated back-office support, or other growth-enabling features, reach out to our team for more information.
Prioritize Training Your Staff
Training shouldn’t be a luxury in your business, but that requires making it a priority both on the calendar and in the budget. Training doesn’t just grow your staff’s practical skills, but it also creates a positive learning atmosphere and builds confidence. A self-assured team is eager and willing to craft custom solutions. And customers expect all employees they engage with to be familiar with products and services. Provide an ongoing blend of online training, formal in-person training, and coaching/mentoring.
Create an FAQ Log
An FAQ log is different from a customer service script. It’s more of a resource guide that ensures a unified response both in tone and in action items. The FAQ log is also a method to compile the company’s responses to current events. The log provides a blueprint to answer or escalate a client’s concerns to real-time market responses.
Make Active Listening a Standard Practice
The bottom line of a successful customer experience reveals itself in the resolution. A client will not de-escalate with a litany of excuses or finger-pointing. They will step back once they know they have been listened to. Each team member should naturally repeat and confirm the situation as the customer explains it.
Be Solution Focused, Not Blame Focused
A solution-focused team admits mistakes and learns from them. Amicable answers arise from honesty and dialogue. When mistakes happen, your company’s responses define you from your competition. Admitting a wrong and laying the groundwork to correct it enhances customer relationships.
Tracking Your Customer Service Data
This is one way you can take your customer service from an art to a science. By tracking what problems are recurring, you can identify processes to prevent or resolve common issues. Work with your team to craft metrics that will alert the correct team members when action is needed. Your data is capable of showing weaknesses in procedures and follow-throughs.
This is generally best done with your CRM. Within WealthPlan Group, our advisors have access to the industry-leading Salesforce CRM platform. If you’d like to learn more about WealthPlan Group’s integrated tech stack for advisors, talk to a member of our team.
What are the most common questions we get?
Start with a simple question like, “What kinds of inquiries repeat?” These can point to a term, product, or strategy that needs more explaining elsewhere in your organization. Sometimes, these can be easily answered via dialogue. Other times, you might consider creating digital resources you can refer people to in order to answer common client questions.
If the common calls are focused on client requests, identify which scenarios need to escalate. Were they delegated to a different staff member due to a lack of knowledge or tools? Allow your customer service team to provide input from their experiences. This will help you get clients to the solution they need as fast as possible.
Measure the response time.
In order to please clients and keep your own workflows organized, you need to ensure a quick response time. A target goal of 24 hours or shorter is critical to maintaining customer expectations. Valid responses do not include automated responses. It can be as simple as your team acknowledging the client and committing to a call-back. At that moment, your customer knows their situation is being handled.
Partner with your team to identify a ballpark answer to how long the average wait time is long is for a requested interaction. Where it helps, leverage integrated technology solutions that help track client tickets and requests.
Measure client satisfaction.
Especially when your tech stack is organized, your data gives you a wealth of information. Proactively focusing on gathering honest feedback empowers you to know how happy your clients are and what specific steps could improve that impression. A happy customer is a loyal customer and a repeat customer.
Conduct reviews with your client. Client reviews demonstrate your good-faith commitment to follow through. Your client will know that your company truly “walks the walk” with customer service.
Designing For Client Satisfaction
If you can delight your clients, you can not only improve your retention but increase your referrals as well. WealthPlan Group can help equip your team with the support and resources they need to provide an exceptional client experience.
Advisory services offered through WealthPlan Group, a DBA for WealthPlan Investment Management, a subsidiary Registered Investment Advisor of WealthPlan Group, LLC. WealthPlan Group, LLC is not a registered investment advisor, but is the holding company for WealthPlan Partners LLC and WealthPlan Investment Management, LLC.
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